City guide
Must-see attractions at the Budapest Summer Festival
Photo : Budapest Summer Festival
Sponsored

The warmer months in Budapest are already in full swing and so is the Budapest Summer Festival, an events series putting amazing English-friendly performances on the Margaret Island Open-Air Stage. From opera to electronic and classical concerts, a West African dance show and Georgian ballet, here are our favourite events you should catch this summer.

Nicola Benedetti and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Barbarian Nights Opera Gala – Vittorio Grigolo gala concert Pink Martini concert Sukhishvili – National Georgian Ballet – Evening of Dance Stars of Hollywood symphonic film music concert

Nicola Benedetti and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

Nicola Benedetti, one of her generation’s most sought-after violin soloists, is performing in Hungary for the first time on 4 July. She often appears at major festivals and at the world’s leading concert halls such as the Cadogan in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. She has recently given concerts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Benedetti arrives in Budapest with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, one of the best of its kind in the world. They will play Detlev Glanert’s American Prelude No.1 and Mahler’s Symphony No.1 in D Major. More details and tickets

Barbarian Nights

A dozen men from Algeria and West Africa dance in this amazing performance. When creating his second production, Hervé Koubi, a French choreographer of Algerian descent, drew inspiration from his Mediterranean roots. The dancers brilliantly blend contemporary style with urban and street dance, as well as capoeira and a variety of martial arts disciplines. With his balletic choreography, Koubi enchantingly evokes our long history and presents a mysterious seafaring people about whom we know almost nothing. More details and tickets

Opera Gala – Vittorio Grigolo gala concert

Photo: Budapest Summer Festival

One of the world’s best tenors, world-renowned opera soloist Vittorio Grigolo performs some of the most popular pieces of classical music, featuring the best-known and most-loved arias from the opera canon on 20 July. This evocative and charming star tenor should dazzle the audience with his rich and varied repertoire, including pieces by Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, Gounod, Massenet and Offenbach. More details and tickets

 

Pink Martini concert

A versatile orchestra that has mastered practically every musical style there is, Pink Martini appear at the Margaret Island Open-Air Stage on 24 July. The group will play genuine summer music, a fusion of jazz, classical and pop-rock. Its pianist and founder, Thomas Lauderdale, started out as a politician in Oregon and assembled a large chamber orchestra with the goal of changing the world. He went to Harvard together with his partner, the charismatic singer China Forbes. Also involving singer Storm Large, their music pushes boundaries while working with ten to 12 musicians and guest singers. The orchestra began their world tour in 1997, debuting at the Cannes Film Festival. Since then, their songs have been heard in numerous films and television shows, as well as at festivals and large concert venues around the world. More details and tickets

Sukhishvili – National Georgian Ballet – Evening of Dance

Mid August brings an intriguing dance performance to Budapest. Sukhishvili is a blend of traditional Georgian dance with diverse classical influences, displaying the history and heroism of the Georgian people. Since its formation, this innovative dance company has strayed far from the conventions of modern ballet by modernising folklore themes and infusing them with classical dance elements, creating exciting and spectacular productions. This performance will feature breathtaking costumes and gorgeous choreography. More details and tickets

Stars of Hollywood symphonic film music concert

Photo: Budapest Summer Festival

Paying homage to outstanding acting performances by the biggest Hollywood stars, this concert presents the titans of film such as Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Russell Crowe – heroes, detectives or fantastic figures one minute, everyday people and vulnerable men the next. Award-winning movie music from films such as Forrest Gump, Gladiator, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean will be presented. More details and tickets